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Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)

A to Z Drug Facts

Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)

Lab Test Interferences
Adverse Reactions
PrecautionsPatient Care Considerations
Patient/Family Education

(ASS-kor-bik acid)Cecon, Cevi-Bid, Chewable Vitamin C, Dull C, Fruit C 500, Fruit C 100, Fruit C 200, N'ice Vitamin C Drops, SunKist Vitamin C, Vicks Vitamin C Drops, Vita-C,  APO-C, Redoxon, Revitalose-C-1000, TimeTec Timed Release Vitamin C, Timedose Vitamin CClass: Vitamin

 Action Essential vitamin believed important for synthesis of cellular components, catecholamines, steroids, and carnitine.

 Indications Prevention and treatment of scurvy. Unlabeled use(s): Treatment of idiopathic methemoglobinemia; combination therapy with methenamine to increase acidity of urine. Although not proven scientifically, prevention of common colds and treatment of cancer, asthma, atherosclerosis, burns, and other wounds. Topical: Topical vitamin C may photoprotect against UVR because of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

 Contraindications Standard considerations.


ADULTS: PO Recommended daily allowance 60 mg; average protective dose 70 to 150 mg/day. NICOTINE USE: The RDA for smokers is 100 mg/day because of an increased utilization of vitamin C. HIGH DOSE THERAPY: Taper vitamin C prior to discontinuing supplementation.


Used in acute deficiency or when oral absorption is uncertain. Avoid rapid IV administration. SCURVY: IV/IM/SC 75 to 150 mg/day; up to 6 g/day has been administered without toxicity. ENHANCED WOUND HEALING: PO 300 to 500 mg/day for 7 to 10 days has been given.

 Interactions None well documented.

 Lab Test Interferences Amine-dependent tests for occult blood in stool: May cause false-negative results. Urine glucose determinations: May cause false-negative determinations.

 Adverse Reactions

CNS: Faintness or dizziness may occur with rapid IV administration. GI: Diarrhea; nausea; vomiting. GU: Excessive doses over long period of time may cause precipitation of cystine, oxalate or urate crystals in kidney. OTHER: Injection site irritation may occur with IM or SC administration.


Pregnancy: Category A. (Category C in doses > the RDA). Lactation: Excreted in breast milk. Excessive doses: Diabetics, patients prone to renal calculi, patients on sodium restricted diets, and those taking anticoagulants should not take excessive doses (> 5 g/day) over extended periods of time. Sulfite sensitivity: Some products contain sulfites, which may precipitate a reaction in sensitive individuals. Tartrazine sensitivity: Some products contain tartrazine, which can precipitate breathing difficulties in sensitive individuals.




  • Check expiration date on container for oral tablets; product is relatively unstable after exposure to air and light.
  • Cover IV bag to protect from light if being administered IV.
  • Refrigerate when possible, although storage at room temperature is acceptable.
  • Discard IV solution after 24 hr.


  • Obtain patient history, including drug history and any known allergies.
  • Evaluate patient for signs of vitamin C deficiency before and during therapy.
  • Monitor pH of urine if patient is being treated for renal stones.
  • If patient experiences dizziness or syncope, stop administration and notify physician.
  • Rotate injection or infusion sites to reduce irritation.

 Patient/Family Education

  • Explain that taking product with foods high in iron will enhance absorption of iron.
  • Explain to any patient scheduled for glucose studies that product should not be taken for ³ 48 to 72 hr before test.
  • Inform patient that abruptly stopping high-dose therapy may lead to loosening of teeth and bleeding gums.

Copyright © 2003 Facts and Comparisons
David S. Tatro
A to Z Drug Facts


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